Borussia win last pre-season friendly 2-1 against Groningen
The Foals recorded a 2-1 win in their final friendly of pre-season against Dutch top-flight side FC Groningen.
Borussia Mönchengladbach started the second half of the Bundesliga season with a bang, securing a long-awaited 4-2 win over Borussia Dortmund on matchday 18. Nico Elvedi was at the double in the first half, before goals from Ramy Bensebaini and Marcus Thuram brought an end to BVB’s eleven-game winning run over Gladbach in the league.
The Foals flew out of the traps at BORUSSIA-PARK and had the ball in the back of the net through Florian Neuhaus after just 48 seconds. After a long VAR review, however, the goal was ruled out because of a foul by Jonas Hofmann. It didn’t stop Borussia’s charge though and it was soon 1-0. Hofmann’s free-kick was met by Nico Elvedi in the box to head in his second goal in as many games (11’). Dortmund delivered their response in the form of a quickfire Erling Haaland double, with the Norwegian first lifting the ball over Yann Sommer from a tight angle (22’), before he buried a shot into the bottom corner to turn the game around (28’). The visitors’ lead lasted just four minutes though. A Lars Stindl free-kick proved too hot for Roman Bürki to handle and Elvedi gratefully gobbled up the rebound to complete his own brace and make it 2-2 at half time.
Marco Rose’s team talks must have struck the perfect tone this Friday evening as Gladbach once again made a flying start to the half. Hofmann found Ramy Bensebaini on the left of the penalty area and the Algerian cut-back onto his right foot to leave Julian Brandt in his wake, before spectacularly curling a shot through the crowd and inside the far post (50’). Alassane Plea almost made it 4-2 soon after thanks to another fine ball from Hofmann, but Jude Bellingham got a crucial touch on his shot to see it slip agonisingly wide (54’). The Foals were proving much more frustrating opponents for Dortmund in the second 45, with their slick final-third passing from the opening half now a less familiar sight. When an opening did emerge for Raphael Guerreiro, Sommer was in place to make a big save (75’). Gladbach, meanwhile, continued to pose a real threat from set-pieces and made one count once again to wrap up victory. This time it was a Neuhaus corner-kick that was headed home by substitute Marcus Thuram in his first appearance back from suspension (79’). The win lifts Borussia above BVB and into the top four overnight at least, while also ending a baron spell against the Black-Yellows stretching back to April 2015.
Head coach Marco Rose made three changes to the side that beat Werder Bremen on Tuesday, with Ramy Bensebaini, Denis Zakaria and Lars Stindl coming into the team for Oscar Wendt, Patrick Herrmann and Hannes Wolf.
Marcus Thuram was back in the matchday squad after serving his five-match ban, meaning the boss was only without Valentino Lazaro, who is still carrying a muscle injury.
Mönchengladbach: Sommer - Lainer, Ginter, Elvedi, Bensebaini - Kramer, Zakaria (84’ Herrmann) - Neuhaus, Stindl (71’ Wolf), Hofmann (65’ Thuram) – Plea (71’ Embolo)
Dortmund: Bürki – Morey (88’ St. Tigges), Akanji, Hummels, Guerreiro – Bellingham (80’ Moukoko), Can - Sancho, Reus (71’ Reyna), Brandt - Haaland
Goals: 1-0 Elvedi (11’), 1-1 Haaland (22’), 1-2 Haaland (28’), 2-2 Elvedi (32’), 3-2 Bensebaini (50’), 4-2 Thuram (78’)
Yellow cards: Kramer
Referee: Manuel Gräfe (Berlin)